Steve Brine has spoken of his delight as the children's heart unit at Southampton General Hospital was saved on Wednesday 4th July.
The Have a Heart campaign, led by the Daily Echo, secured over 250,000 signatures, and the Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP was the only local MP who spent the entire day in the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trust meeting in London.
Following the decision, he said: "We are obviously delighted. This has been a very long process but the right decision has been made. Whichever way you looked at it, Southampton came out right at the top when it came to quality of paediatric cardiac services, access to them and their sustainability in the long-term working across regional networks. I hope our campaign in Parliament made a little difference but I pay tribute above all to the team from Southampton, the Daily Echo and the parents and families of Ocean Ward who made their case passionately and with dignity to secure these life-savings services in Southampton."
Steve was among those who led the charge among MPs from the South; sponsoring a debate in Parliament in June 2011, meeting affected constituents, representatives from the Trust in Southampton and hosting meetings with the Safe & Sustainable team in Parliament for other MPs as well as delivering a huge petition to Downing Street.
Commenting on the news, Dr Michael Marsh, medical director at Southampton General Hospital, said: "The future is secure and we can get on with trying to make services better, which I think is what it is all about. The Have a Heart campaign was the public voice and I think that it had an impact."
Pictured; Steve joins campaigners celebrating the news in London (courtesy of the Daily Echo)
Steve Brine is active right across his Winchester & Chandler's Ford constituency. You can now see news specific to where you live via our community pages.